Men's deodorant in Peru was a market dominated by Axe, a brand that directed its communication and message to young men. This was a target in which Old Spice had little participation since it was perceived as brand that is old fashioned, in part because it was considered a classic cologne used by older generation. In order to renew its image as fresh and young, Old Spice decided to change its communication since 2014 focusing on humour and masculinity. This strategy started improving Old Spice results, but with limited budget and a very competitive market, the growth did not exceed expectations. It needed a big bang.
The opportunity came in the Copa America, an international soccer competition between the men’s national soccer teams of South America which happens once every four years. Starcom discovered through its own insights that fans have the highest potential to build brand engagement around this event. Peru is a country that loves soccer, capturing the attention of most men. Old Spice had to play this tournament too if it ever wanted to become big and popular, but it had to do it so with a striking and interesting message that could rise above the overly saturated conversations going on, especially in Social Media.
Knowing the importance of this Cup to the target, the agency secured Old Spice participation during the commercial breaks with funny Terry Crew´s copy communicating its superiority in blocking bad odour. The TV spot got some attention in social media meaning it had made a first connection with the target, but it had to amplify it.
How could the agency bring Old Spice closer to the young Peruvian audience? It knew it had to be something emotional that would link the brand to their biggest love and passion: soccer. To do this, it had to find a local character that would help amplify the brand messages and attributes in an organic and relevant way, and most important, bring together soccer, humour and pride for the Peruvians.
It happens that one of Peru’s best players, defender Luis Advincula, was getting a lot of press and praise for his game. Since Old Spice is fast in blocking bad odour, Starcom decided to use Luis for his well-known attribute of blocking the enemy plays during the games. This was the key to establish the connection between soccer and Peru with Old Spice.
The target is native to digital and social so it had to play there with its influencer. The content had to be on Facebook too and completely block out all other competition. Understanding the consumer better and their talk about our copy in Social Media, Starcom knew it had to build on top of the TV spot. It had to do something just as funny with the influencer but relevant to the Peruvians that would catch everyone’s attention. Luis Advincula was also known for his great sense of humour, and had a physical resemblance to Terry Crews, its brand celebrity. Could the agency bring to life the Terry Crew’s Campaign with the influencer?
With the Copa America lasting only a couple of weeks it had to act fast. On Tuesday June 24th, monitoring Social Media the agency found a meme a fan had made of Luis Advincula comparing him to Terry Crews. If the audience had already made the connection between Luis and the brand in an organic way, it would make it stronger. Peru’s next game was on the 29th of June, giving only a couple of days to react.
Starcom quickly decided to record Luis Advincula doing a parody of the TV copy. This way it would leverage Old Spice message of blocking the bad odour as well as it being a support message for the team and encouraging them to “Block the Rival”. This was the perfect formula. It communicated the brand asset, brand personality since it was funny, and thanks to Luis, it had a strong link to Peru.
Even though the soccer team was in Chile for the Cup and under a strict training regime, on Friday June 26th the agency managed to record the video parody in a locker room with a cell phone. The low quality of the video made it look like a natural response from Luis to his fans rather than an elaborated spot. That same day the video was uploaded to the Old Spice Fan page gathering the attention of the whole country that was waiting for Peru’s next game.
The video quickly became viral and got picked up by most local media outlets. This resulted in a lot of Free Media. With only $5,000 used to promote the video on Facebook, Old Spice got free coverage and exposure worth $587,122.89, generating 170 million impressions in seven days.
In a week, the Facebook video itself had:
- 700,000+ views
- 100,000+ likes
- 17,000+ shares
- 7,000+ comments
- 40% engagement
It was a hot topic and everyone wanted to mimic Luis Advincula by doing the “block” themselves: from TV hosts to people in the streets. Luis Advincula unified the brand messaging to a relevant consumer conversation. Old Spice was now a fun brand that everyone talked about. It had managed to make a connection not only with soccer fans but with all Peruvians. Of course, all this got reflected in excellent results for the brand:
• Share growth of 3pts. This was 35% more vs same period (May-December) previous year
• Growth of +50% in sales vs. same period (May – December) the previous year
• A ROI of 6
Following more great performances on the field, Advincula became known as “Block Advincula” and the word "block" became part of the Peruvian vocabulary.